Macau: Indian golfer Anirban Lahiri struggled in extremely windy conditions through his first nine holes before steadying himself to end with a two-over 73 that saw him lose the lead and be tied fourth at the midway stage of the USD 900,000 Venetian Macau Open today.
Lahiri, who had a stunning 61 on the first day went 12 shots over his first round card, and stood at eight-under 134, but only two shots behind the in-form Australian Scott Hend (62-70), who shared the lead with another Australian Adam Groom (65-67).
Five Indians, including Lahiri made the cut, while eight others missed out after Rashid Khan withdrew yesterday.
Others making the cut were SSP Chowrasia (66-73) in tied 14th place, while Jeev Milkha Singh (71-69), Jyoti Randhawa (66-74) and Shiv Kapur (72-67) were all in tied 25th place.
Indo-Swede Daniel Chopra added a 68 to his first round 69 to be tied seventh at five-under 137.
M Dharma (70-73) missed the cut by one, while Himmat Rai (70-74), Rahil Gangjee (73-71) and Chiragh Kumar (69-75) missed it by two. Angad Cheema (70-77), Arjun Atwal (70-78), Sujjan Singh (74-76) and S Chikkarangappa (75-75) also missed the cut.
Lahiri, second on the Order of Merit, was disappointed, as he posted three birdies against five bogeys.
"It was windy but still it was not that hard," lamented Lahiri.
"The greens were quicker and I couldn't get my speed right with the putts. I couldn't adjust to them. I'm playing well but I need to tighten up some loose ends. I'm still in with a great chance."
Defending champion Hend of Australia fought his way into a share of the halfway lead with Groom as he kept up his chase for a second successive victory.
Winner in Hong Kong last weekend, the long-hitting Hend survived blustery conditions at the Macau Golf and Country Club to post a one-under 70 and a 10-under 132 aggregate which was matched by Groom, who carded a 67.